向英语学习者讲话 | Some More Mistakes to Consider 供考虑的另外几个错误

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Some More Mistakes to Consider
供考虑的另外几个错误

After reading my article “Some Mistakes to consider”, a reader wrote to ask me to give more mistakes to consider. I hope you will be interested to read the following four sentences and see what mistakes they contain:
读了我的那篇《供考虑的几个错误》之后,一个读者写信请我提供更多的错误让他考虑。我希望你将有兴趣读下面的四句句子,看看它们是否包含着错误:

1.May I introduce you my brother?

2.Please favour me an early reply.

3.I will inform you the result by and by1.

4.He has presented me a book.

I think you have read about the double object in grammar. You have been told that a verb may take two objects, one called the direct and the other called the indirect. You have seen such sentences as:
我想你读到过语法中的双宾语。你已经知道一个动词可能带两个宾语,一个叫直接宾语,一个叫间接宾语。你见过类似下面各句句子:

1.Can you recommend me a tailor?

2.Please send me an early reply.

3.I will tell you the truth by and by.

4.He has lent me a book.

But have you ever seen sentences like those in the first group? I have often seen them in the English written by Chinese learners of English, but never in any Englishman’s writing. In an Englishman’s writing, these sentences would read:
可是你见过像第一组中的那种句子吗?我在中国的英语学习者写的英语中时常见到它们,可是从来不曾看到英国人这样写。在一个英国人写的东西中,这些句子将是:

1.May I introduce my brother to you?

2.Please favour me with an early reply.

3.I will inform you of the result by and by.

4.He has presented a book to me.

He has presented me with a book.

Now you can see that the verbs “introduce”, “favour”, “inform”, and “present” cannot take the double object, though the verbs “recommend”, “send”, “tell”, and “lend” can. Grammars mention the double object and give examples of it, but they do not tell you that only a few verbs can take the double object, nor do they mention any verbs with which this construction is impossible. It seems to me, therefore, that the four mistakes that I have just mentioned are quite common among Chinese learners, even among those2 who have studied grammar carefully.
现在你可以知道“introduce”、“favour”、“inform”和“present”这几个动词不能带双宾语,虽然“recommend”、“send”、“tell”和“lend”可以。语法书说到双宾语,给出几个例子,可是它们并不告诉你只有几个动词可以带双宾语,也不提任何不可能有这个结构的动词。所以在我看来,我刚才说到的四个错误在中国的学习者中是十分普遍的,甚至曾经仔细读过语法的人们也会犯这样的错。

To tell the truth3, grammar does not help you much in writing. It tells you what is right, but it does not tell you much about what is wrong. When you have seen a certain construction in your grammar, you try to make use of4 it in your own writing. Possibly you have made no mistake, but it is also possible that you have made a mistake.
老实说,语法不能在写作中给你多少帮助。它告诉你什么是对的,可是它不太告诉你什么是错的。当你在自己的语法书中见到了某一种结构,就在自己的写作中使用它。可能你不会犯错误,但也可能犯了一个错误。

NOTES

  1. by and by 不久以后
  2. those=learners
  3. To tell the truth 老实说
  4. make use of 利用

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